Council recognises tree protection and canopy cover is an important issue to the community. In the 2017-27 Boroondara Community Plan, the community identified protecting and increasing canopy cover on private land as a priority.
The benefits of tree canopy cover in urban areas are well documented. These benefits include:
- reducing the impact of the urban heat island effect
- reducing the effects of climate change
- reducing temperatures in and around buildings
- reducing storm water runoff
- absorbing pollution
- providing habitat and promoting biodiversity.
In 2017, Council engaged a consultant to undertake a study of canopy cover in the municipality. The canopy cover study recorded canopy cover in 2006, 2011 and 2016 on private land, public land and street/road reservations.
The assessment found that canopy cover:
- on private land decreased from 23.3 per cent in 2006 to 22.9 per cent in 2016
- on public land increased from 29 per cent in 2006 to 33.5 per cent in 2016
- on street/road reservations increased from 24.4 per cent in 2006 to 26.4 per cent in 2016
- in the municipality overall increased from 24.3 per cent in 2006 to 25 per cent in 2016.
The results are also broken down by suburb.
The results of the canopy cover study are currently being used to inform Council’s review of the Tree Protection Local Law 2016.